LILLEY: Team Trudeau wakes up to American protectionist threat
The Trudeau government finally appears to be waking up in Washington.
Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly made the trip the American capital Friday to press issues surrounding protectionist measures being pushed by the Biden administration.
Top of the list of concerns: measures that would hurt auto jobs in Ontario and the Line 5 pipeline that delivers western Canadian oil to Ontario and Quebec but cuts through Michigan where the governor is threatening to shut it down.
“Canadians know we have to defend our interests and we can never take anything for granted,” Joly said Friday.
Biden campaigned on strong protectionist measures that would ignore trade deals such as CUSMA, the renegotiated NAFTA, as well as World Trade Organization rules. He’s kept Trump’s protectionist policies in place and upped the ante.
Canada has always had to deal with protectionism, but in the past we could count on a relationship between the prime minister and president of the day to try to tamp down on the worst parts of protectionism emanating from Congress. Since the Obama administration, protectionism has started in the White House and been pushed on Congress.